Act III: Life And Death review by The Dear Hunter

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jun 23, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.9 (29 votes)
The Dear Hunter: Act III: Life And Death
3

Sound — 9
First of all, if you've never listened to The Dear Hunter, you can't just listen to one or two random songs and judge it from that. You need to start at the beginning of an album and listen, really listen, and then try and deny that it's good. The music is so dense, that I still discover new sounds after having listened to their albums consistently for two years. The Dear Hunter is essentially a progressive rock band that incorporates multiple different musical instruments and even spans genres. It also all tells an epic story of a boy in WWI-era who goes on a journey. The first album, Act I, covers his birth and the story of his mother, Act II concerns love and heartbreak, and in this album, Act III, he goes to war and loses his innocence. I didn't think that The Dear Hunter could possibly do any better than Act II, but I can definitely say they matched it, if not surpassed it. This album is f--king EPIC. Seriously, it spans so many genres, it's sometimes hard to believe a song is the same, only to realize that it IS the same song and you're only halfway through! Casey Crescenzo, the writer and singer, clearly put a lot of work into this album and it shows. The production values are amazing, the levels perfectly mixed, turn your speakers up loud and it will blow your mind. This album is extremely innovative, and all of the songs are amazing. Standouts are In Cauda Venemum, What It Means To Be Alone, and He Said He Had a Story. But seriously, every song is good. I don't think that The Dear Hunter categorized alongside bands such as Chiodos and Circa Survive. They belong in a category of their own.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics, as always, are great and always interesting. At times, they even tell story in a way that almost sounds like you could be seeing it as a musical number. The song "He Said He Had a Story" tells the story of the main boy sleeping with a prostitute, but it is told from his perspective, as if he was talking to his friends. If you listen to the background singers, they are actually responding to what he says. "I broke a smile reminding that I paid her well, her lips returned and then I felt her hands unbuckling my belt" Background vocals: "So was it good?" "Oh it felt like heaven, but I'm sure she was in hell. I made it clear I'd get my moneys worth out of the goods she sells." Overall, the lyrics are great and tell the story well, without taking focus away from the music. Casey Crascenzo's singing on this album is incredible. He has gotten even better on this album, and he switches so many styles of singing that it's hard to label him as having a normal alternative rock voice. I mean, this guy can sing. He can be screaming at one point, and riffing a gospel number the other. He also has an awesome falsetto, and puts a lot of emotion into his vocals.

Overall Impression — 9
I can only think of one bad thing about this album - that it can be hard sometimes to listen to entirely through without stopping because A. It's pretty long, and B. It can be a little overwhelming after a while. A lot of the songs are really intense, amazing intense, but still intense, so you have to be in a certain kind of mood to listen to it. I wouldn't put this album on if you wanted to really relax. Aside from that, this album is amazing. All the songs are awesome, you can listen to this album over and over and still find something new every time. If it were stolen, I'd take a pineapple and find the person who took it, then rape them with it. Just put yourself in the right state of mind to sit down and really focus on some amazing music. Spark up a j, turn the speakers up, and listen to this album. You wont regret it, I promise.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MonkeyAbuser
    try deerhunter instead. much better than this. now when i tell someone that i like the band deerhunter they are going to think i'm talking about this band. damn it.
    Deerhunter is another piece of indie pop/rock crap that's contributing absolutely nothing of any value to music or the rest of the world in general. With every note he writes, Casey Crescenzo continues to break down more and more barriers in music, while presenting us with something that has real depth to it. Spot on review my friend, and don't let anybody ever tell you otherwise
    JChrist521
    as i was first listening to this album, i was anticipating an orchestral, guitar driven track to follow the choral oohs and ahhs of writing on a wall... when the horns went of at the beginning of in cauda venemum, i jumped away from my computer and as the song continued, a grin helplessly spread across my face. i've never heard a band like this, and i mean that in the best way possible. these guys are awesome =)
    asly45
    Yeah, The Dear Hunter is much much better than Deerhunter. All three of these albums are epic. Casey has definitely matured since his days in The Receiving End of Sirens. He's also worked with a band called The River Empires, and they're also quite good. Good review!
    shenanigans
    Absolutely love this band and album, they the best progressive rock band I've ever heard, besides maybe Dream Theater, however they are in a much more metal direction. This band does it all!!
    Maidenfan066
    Listened to a few songs from this record....not really guitar driven at all. Hell, I don't know if I even heard a guitar. Whatever, though.
    There's PLENTY of guitar on this album.
    uiop21
    I would have given it a better rating, haha. This album is absolutely incredible, not 1 bad song.
    Night_Lights
    The Tank is one of the most amazing songs I've heard. Casey's voice is incredible on the falsetto.
    saint_berzerker
    Listened to a few songs from this record....not really guitar driven at all. Hell, I don't know if I even heard a guitar. Whatever, though.
    alexanderjames7
    try deerhunter instead. much better than this. now when i tell someone that i like the band deerhunter they are going to think i'm talking about this band. damn it.